Israeli Terror Victims Given Go-Ahead to Sue Bank of China in U.S.

Monday, September 23, 2013
Xiao Gang, chairman of Bank of China Ltd. 2004-2013 (photo: World Economic Forum)

Israeli victims of terrorist attacks have won the right to sue a U.S. branch of the Bank of China, which stands accused of handling wire transfers that facilitated bombings and rocket assaults by two Palestinian groups.

 

In a unanimous decision, a New York state appeals court sided with 50 citizens and residents of Israel who sued the Bank of China after they or their families were victimized by terrorist acts committed by Palestine Islamic Jihad and Hamas between 2005 and 2007. The government of China has majority ownership of the bank.

 

The plaintiffs sued the Bank of China in New York alleging it had handled international fund transfers that helped pay for the terrorist actions.

 

The New York appellate court decided Israeli law applied in the case, which was key because an Israeli statute makes it a crime to provide material support or services to terrorist organizations.

 

The bank’s lawyers contended that it would be unfair to hear the case in New York when much of the evidence resides in China. The defendant’s legal team also failed to convince the judges that Chinese law should apply to the case.

 

The Bank of China is also being sued on similar grounds in the case of Wultz v. Islamic Republic of Iran, which was filed by an American who was injured and whose son who was killed in a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv.

 

The son, Daniel Wultz, was the cousin of U.S. Representative Eric Cantor, the Republican majority leader in the House of Representatives.

 

Xiao Gang, the chairman of Bank of China Ltd. At the time of the alleged terrorist support, is now chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

-Noel Brinkerhoff

 

To Learn More:

Israeli Terror Victims to Sue Chinese Bank in NY (by Mark Thompson, Courthouse News Service)

Israeli Terror Victims Win Right to Have Case Against Bank of China Heard in U.S. Court (The Algemeiner)

Elmaliach v Bank of China Ltd. (New York Supreme Court)

Weston Family Faces Frustration of Court Fight after Grief of Terror Bombing (by Evan Benn, Justice for Daniel Wultz)

U.S. Judge Okays Terrorism Lawsuit against Bank of China (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

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